Community in Action June 24, 2020

On Sunday evening Joan and I attended a Juneteenth Virtual Vigil hosted by the Sojourner Truth Presbyterian Church and the Black Members of San Francisco. The program was subtitled “We hope to gather in this sacred time to share in Lamentation, Learning and Leading.”

    Rev. Kamal Hassan was the moderator of the program. We first heard from Black members of the Presbytery about some of their experiences with racism. We then learned about Juneteenth and the Tulsa, Oklahoma Massacre. You can look up the importance of Juneteenth on Google. The Tulsa race massacre took place on May 31 and June 1, 1921, when mobs of white residents attacked black residents and businesses of the Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It has been called "the single worst incident of racial violence in American history.”

    Hearing about first hand experiences of racism, hearing about the holiday of Juneteenth, and the learning about the 1921 massacre was more than just sobering, but we didn’t stop there. We also talked about what is next. Those who were not Black were given the opportunity to respond, not with apologies, but with constructive suggestions to move forward. 

    We ended with an opportunity to sign up for a 21-Day Race Equity Challenge. This challenge can be accessed through the Presbytery of San Francisco website, https://www.presbyteryofsf.org/anti-racism-and-justice/. This challenge begins on July 1st and involves watching, reading, listening, and noticing those things which pertain to racism.

    I know some of us are not ready to step into this challenge, but I encourage you to at least consider watching one movie or read one book this summer about race. You can find a list of resources on our website jkpcdublin.org, under Get Connected. If you pull down the tab you will see “How to be a JKPC Ally.” This will take you to the power point Carolyn Bolin shared with the congregation which has a list of movies and books to watch or read.

    I know this is a difficult subject to address, but I believe that we are all called to be part of this world, just as Jesus was. Jesus came to earth and “dwelt among us,” so we too are to dwell in the place God has put us.

    We are called to share the good news of freedom to those around us, but how can we share that good news unless we know what the needs are? How can we know the needs of others unless we educate ourselves about the world around us? We have an awesome opportunity to be harbingers of the greatest freedom ever, freedom from the chains of the past toward a freedom that Jesus has given us, a freedom that will make us free indeed.


    Pastor Randy

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